Totem Pole for Beaver House
Arts of the Americas
Dr. Charles Newcombe, an avid collector of Northwest Coast art for many museums, obtained this pole from the village of Kayang in 1911 and had it cut in half in order to ship it to the Brooklyn Museum.
Poles such as this one display a family's origins, supernatural experiences, achievements, wealth, status, exploits, acquisitions, and territories. Photographs from Kayang, Queen Charlotte Islands, identify this example as the front pole of the "Beaver House," owned by the T'uwa clan of the Raven group. Its carved crests represent beings that, according to clan legend, an ancestor encountered. Only the descendants of the clan are believed to have the right to depict this story.
(a) section: 264 x 39 1/2 x 27 in., 1200 lb. (670.6 x 100.3 x 68.6 cm, 544.3kg)
(b) section: 234 x 44 x 33 in., 1650 lb. (594.4 x 111.8 x 83.8 cm, 748.4kg)
Storage (CRATE made 2009 by Surroundart for 'a' with top Bird detached): 53 x 50 x 240 in. (134.6 x 127 x 609.6 cm)
Storage (CRATE made 2009 by Surroundart for 'b'): 56 x 49 x 269 in. (142.2 (show scale)
This item is not on view
Museum Expedition 1911, Purchased with funds given by Robert B. Woodward
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Haida (Native American). Totem Pole for Beaver House, mid-19th century. Cedar wood, (a) section: 264 x 39 1/2 x 27 in., 1200 lb. (670.6 x 100.3 x 68.6 cm, 544.3kg). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1911, Purchased with funds given by Robert B. Woodward, 11.703a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 05.588.7418_11.703a-b_SL1.jpg)
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Carved Haida totem pole that has been cut into two sections. (In the photograph, details of both sections are shown flanking the speaker figure, 05.588.7418). Both sections are made of unpainted cedar wood with hollow concavities in the rear. Depicted animals on section (a) are (top to bottom): bird (thunderbird or eagle); adult bear; small baby bear's head and paws revealed between upper adult bear's legs; adult bear with long tongue extended downward; head of adult bear or beaver (cut off from rest of its body when totem pole was cut into two sections). Depicted animals on section (b) are (top to bottom): body only of adult bear; baby bear crawling downward with hind quarters at top and head at bottom; adult bear; young bear's head with long ears peering out between legs of adult bear above it. The totem pole was cut into two sections before it was brought to the Museum in 1911. The overall condition of the two sections is poor and unstable. The wood is dry and brittle. There are numerous deep cracks, material losses, and surface abrasions.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.